Many people watched as Stephen Colbert made his much-anticipated debut of the song “Friday” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The performance was the culmination of the Fallon Colbert Project, an initiative by the comedians to raise money for charity. During the hilarious performance-which included Hyper Color sweatshirts (way cool), dancers, and the always-exciting American Idol winner, Taylor Hicks-there was a random man holding a strange symbol in the air. Technologically savvy types knew this to be a , or Quick Response code.
This technology comes from Japan, and they are extremely common there. The codes consist of a black and white pattern that is encoded with information that when scanned by a reader on a Smartphone, can take the user to a URL, video, or even offer a coupon for the user to use at a retailer. This technology has potential benefits for businesses, non-profit organizations, political campaigns and even musical acts.
In this instance, video thanking fans for all of their donations-sort of a secret encoded message. It brings to mind the movie A Christmas Story where the main character gets a secret decoder from a cereal box and anxiously listens to a certain radio program each week for another clue. The clues were an elaborate marketing campaign for the cereal. The possibilities for similar strategies are endless.used it to link to a
The technology is great for another reason. It appeals to two specific traits in human nature: curiosity and laziness. People will love the fact that they can simply scan the code and it will take them directly to relevant info. Plus, QR codes have a level of mystery that a URL doesn’t. Once a Smartphone user discovers what they are, they are hard to resist.
In case you missed it, here’s the performance: